Two of the Nationals projected major contributors, Michael Morse and Brad Lidge, have failed to do just that this season...contribute.
Their lack of output from their respective positions can be easily accredited to one thing: injuries.
Since spring training, first baseman Michael Morse has been battling a torn left lat muscle that has kept him out of the majors all season long. In his first rehab game with the Hagerstown Suns, the injury prevented him from even finishing the game. As a result, the Nationals shut him down completely for six weeks to give him a chance to heal.
According to Bill Ladson of MLB.com, Morse has begun his road to recovery. This past Tuesday, Morse hit from an indoor batting cage without any troubles. The team plans to have him hit and throw every other day.
As of right now, the Nationals are anticipating a June 8th return for the slugger. That day the Nats are in Boston taking on the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Since it is considered an American League game, Morse will serve as the designated hitter if he is ready to go.
According to SBNation.com, Nationals closer Brad Lidge has also begun his road to recovery. Back on May 1st, he underwent surgery to repair a sports hernia.
This past Monday, Lidge was able to throw off of flat ground on Monday. Lidge is eyeing a return to the mound for the Nationals in the second or third week of June.
There are still a number of other key players that are on the disabled list. Mark DeRosa, Drew Storen, Cole Kimball, and Chien-Ming Wang are all scheduled to return with the next three months.